When You Love Someone Who Doesn’t Love Christ

I’ve recently received a few emails from fellow Christians asking about how they should best handle people in their lives whom they love, but who don’t love Christ. A son whose father isn’t saved; a man whose wife wants no part of his newfound faith, a woman whose faith strains her relationship with her beloved friend. Like that.

All Christians have in their lives people to whom they are close, but who don’t share their faith. I was certainly in that situation after I got Instantly Saved; the Lord did not at the same time sweep my wife off her feet. (She was, in fact, away on a business trip at the time. If you’d like, you can read about that whole incident in “I, a Rabid Anti-Christian, Very Suddenly Convert.”)

For what it’s worth, here’s my advice on What To Do With the Nonbelievers In Your Life:

There are three components involved in any relationship you have with another person: You, the other person, and the relationship that exists between the two of you. That’s all of it, right there: That’s the whole Relationship Combo. Nothing in a relationship exists outside those three elements. You handle each of those three things correctly, and everything about that relationship goes well.

So the question is, what attitude—what guiding principle, what constantly motivating emotional truth—should you take care to bring to each of those three dimensions in your relationship with a nonbeliever in your life?

About yourself, be humble.

Toward the other person, be loving.

Toward the relationship that exists between the two of you, be patient.

Humility, love and patience. There is no mountain those three can’t move.

Humility: You must keep your awareness of this quality at the fore of your consciousness whenever you’re dealing with a nonbeliever in your life. If you fail to do so, you will become strident in your attitude toward them: You will (however subtly) begin preaching to them, lecturing them, telling them what, how, and who they should be. That’s not the sort of oil that keeps a relationship running smoothly. We all know we must be humble before God. Let us also not forget to be humble before the people in our lives—each of whom is, after all, an example of God’s greatest creation, and made in His image. Remember: You didn’t deserve to be saved. Being chosen by God isn’t anything to be proud of; it’s something to be grateful for. Humble up.

Love: As God loves us, we must love others. Of course that can be difficult—look at what it cost Christ to be unconditionally and absolutely loving towards all of us. If our Lord can suffer that, we can suffer whatever psychological or emotional pain it causes us to remain loving towards any person in our life—and especially toward any nonbeliever, for whom we can trust God has a special interest. God counts on us to love others, to be his loving agents on earth. Simply love the nonbeliever in your life. Christ will take it from there.

Patience: This is God’s world, not ours. We keep time; we have watches and calendars and clocks and so on. God sits at the heart of eternity. I think it’s safe to say he’s not wearing a wristwatch. When it comes to the relationship between you and a nonbeliever—and especially with a nonbeliever to whom you’re necessarily close—be patient. Wait. Never stop waiting. Have no agenda. Let God’s will, in God’s time, shape the relationship between you and the other person. When you’re involved in a relationship with a nonbeliever, you are involved in one of the most important, precious dynamics given to any believer. Don’t try to take the wheel of that relationship; don’t start driving it in the way you think best. Give God the wheel. All you have to do with your nonbeliever is climb into the backseat with them—and then, side by side, the two of you can just enjoy the ride.

*****************************************************************************************************

Email: johnshore@sbcglobal.net

Follow: http://twitter.com/johnshore

Befriend: http://www.facebook.com/john.shore1

Be Fan: http://www.facebook.com/pages/John-Shore/89494795412?ref=s

Print Friendly

About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. John is a pastor ordained by The Progressive Christian Alliance. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. And don't forget to sign up for his mucho awesome monthly newsletter.

  • snowhite197

    I just got convicted!!! I know that I am not, right now, in really any close relationships with non-believers. This is wrong. I think it's partly b/c I am not working full-time or going to school now, but I need to reach out to those I do know anyways by making myself, socially, more available.

    I was going to ask a question about how/when/if people think it's appropriate to invite nonbelievers to church services, socials etc. Then I realized I already knew the answer, it's just that I am not close enough to any non-believers to do that.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Yeah, I mean … well, I think Christians having REAL relationships with non-Christians is so important that I wrote a whole BOOK about that exact topic. Which I mention not as a plug for the book (though you should buy it from Amazon right this second), but rather as just a means of expressing how vitally important I think that is.

  • http://workingout.wordpress.com snowhite197

    LOL. Your book is at the top of my 'wanna read it ' list actually. Hey, this subject inspired me to do a guest blog on my husband's site. You should check it out.

    http://samuelfebres.com/blog/

    Sorry. Idk html. :(

  • http://crosswalk.com g-lady

    John,

    I really like your straight forwardness, and the call for what I interpreted as authenticity/humility. So often I think of my relationships

    with non-believers in a pretencious way. I may have to get your book to help me change that mindset.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Again, Ihate to sound like I'm just … I don't know … shilling for my own book, or whatever, but addressing the (very understandable) mindset you here reference is EXACTLY what "I'm OK–You're Not" is all about. It's something that I think is so critical for we Christians to take an honest, real look at.

    Anyway, I sincerely appreciate your response here; it's deeply encouraging, and extremely good-natured. I'm guessing the non-Christians in your life are pleased to have you as one of the Christians in theirs.

  • Steve MacDonald

    And hey, when actually talking about Christianity or actively evangelizing, you need to reach the person on their 'conscience' level. Simply arguing with them usually doesn't work, and even if it seems like it's working, just remember – if you can argue someone into something then someone else can argue them out of it. Odds are you are not the best arguer ever, so don't try. Skeptics and doubters will ALWAYS have one more question. Apologetics are best used to calm a new Christian's doubts and fears or bolster a growing Christian's convictions, not to convince someone that Brand X (X = Christ) is better than Brand Y (Y = Why not something else?).

    Instead of arguing whether Jonah's great fish was a whale or if Jephtha's daughter had it coming, use the Law (10 Commandments..holla if ya hear me!) to bring conviction at the 'conscience' level. Everyone knows that SOMETHING is wrong to do, whether it is lying, stealing, or murder. When they can admit that they themselves have sinned, and they can call it "wrong", you've touched them on the conscience level. Then you can show them God's standard, and how we've all broken it. This should convict them, and the Holy Spirit can start doing what He does best. Once convicted, proceed with the Good News; Jesus' sacrifice, our inability to do anything to atone, repentance, faith…if you really need me to get more detailed let me know and I'll post some more.

    John has some great guidelines here concerning humility, love, and patience. Use that humility to put yourself in the same place as they are – we are all sinners. You can even share your own checkered past (and avoid revelations about any checkered futures you may have). Use that love to make sure you are truly following the Great Commandment(s):

    MATTHEW 22:34-40 [KJV - public domain, baby!]

    34 But when the Pharisees had heard that he [Jesus] had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together.

    35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,

    36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

    37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

    38 This is the first and great commandment.

    39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

    40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

    If you truly love your neighbor as yourself, how could you NOT make sure they at least understand the basics of Christianity, especially when so many people have a skewed view of the faith as well as a negative view of Christians? But this is where the patience comes in – they do NOT need to be hit over the head (figuratively OR literally, sports fans!) with the Bible! Find a way to address the situation where you can bring in elements of the Law WITHOUT offending them. IT CAN BE DONE! People like to talk about spiritual things, and the law system in America makes it easy to segue from Human law to Divine Law. Let your compassion devour your fear. Remember, you love them like yourself; wouldn't you want them to tell you about Christ if you didn't know?

    So many people are out there calling themselves Christians when they don't even know what it really means. They are giving true Christians a bad name. I wish they would call themselves (or maybe we can start calling them…) 'Christianistas' or something, so people stop getting the wrong idea! John's book is full of testimonies from unsaved folk who have encountered these 'Christianistas' and just assumed that they were Christians because they called themselves Christians. It's time Christians stand up and make sure people know what it TRULY takes to be a Christian; repentance of your sins (and a true repentance, not just saying you're sorry because you got caught *cough*BillClinton*cough*) AND trust and faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior…not just Savior, but we need to make him Lord as well. So many people miss one or more of these simple elements.

    But remember; humility – you are not better than them (well, maybe just a littl…NO!); love – as you love yourself, and because you love God, do what you would have them do to you if the tables were turned; and patience – for almost everyone faith is a journey…no sinner's prayer or altar calls or card signings are going to get someone into Heaven, so don't rush them, answer their questions on the conscience level, pray for them, and show them what a real Christian is like.

  • Bill Lee

    My father, who at age 89, believes in a "supreme being" (God maybe), does pray when he's afraid because of his serious illness, knows Jesus existed, but doesn't believe that Jesus could possibly have been conceived as described or resurected for that matter, thinks that evolution occurred, basically lacks faith, I guess. What can I say, or give him to read, that might make the difference before it's too late? Thank you…….Bill Lee

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    This'll sound insanely self-serving, but I can't help it. The first book I wrote was specifically for this precise dynamic–and I wrote it because there IS no other book like it: If there was, I'd have bought it, and saved myself the trouble of writing it. It's called, "Penguins, Pain and the Whole Shebang: Why I Do the Things I Do, by God (as told to John Shore)". (You can read more about it by clicking the link to it on the right under "My Books.") Done in the voice of God (which I did as a LITERARY DEVICE, not because I'm an ego freak: the book's primarily for NON-believers, for whom such a conceit would be no offense at all), the book is extremely short, and has God fully, directly, and succinctly (and, if I can say it, pretty dang hilariously) addressing the eight or nine objections to Christianity most often posed by non-Christians. Those questions-and-answers deal with atheism, why God doesn't just PROVE he exists; the reality of evil; hypocricy; atonement; Obnoxious Christians … all of it. I KNOW people have been saved through this book; I can't begin to tell you the emails and phone calls attesting to that amazing fact. The book's got no "Christian" talk: it's written for people who have perfectly good reason to be entirely resistant to our faith. We have, first and foremost, a RATIONAL religion–and this book proves it. That's why I wrote it. Every other book I'd ever seen trying to justify or explain Christianity to the nonbeliever just … failed, to me. They invariably relied to much on … Christian talk, basically.

    Anyway, again–HATE the idea of shilling for my own book. But am deeply–and I mean this with all my heart–glad to have a book I can truly and without reservation recommend to you for the exact purpose you (not to mention your father) need served.

  • http://crosswalk.com g-lady

    John,

    (*I left a comment on the 26th)

    I'm pretty sure that my non-Christian friends do appreciate having me as a Christian in one of theirs. I try (sometimes miserably) to humbly act as Jesus would at work.

    Just as an encouragement to you I don't think you should be embarrassed or apologize for promoting your books. Jesus was the kind of man to "tell it like it is" because of our "sheep mentality". Since that is what you do, your writing can actually have more impact than so many others. We weren't born talking

    "Christian" if you know what I mean. So, stop apologizing.

  • http://360.yahoo.com/skerrib Kerri B

    The great thing about having your own blog is that it's all about you…plug away, John!

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    By gosh, I WILL stop … trying to make sure no one thinks I’m saying whatever I say because I have any sort of agenda beyond what I’m saying! Excellent! Good point! Thanks for the encouragement.

    Go buy all my books. Now.

  • Jan

    What do you say to your children (ages 8, 11, 13) when they cry at night that there daddy won't be in heaven with them because he doesn't believe there is a God? We do pray for him every night.

  • nisperos

    Try this…

    Since we know Jesus Christ and have confessed with our lips and believed in our hearts, we are saved by faith not works. But you know, kids, not everyone who says Lord, Lord is getting into heaven, only those who do the will of the Father. Being sinners, that's why we confess our sins to one another and pray for one another…

    But you know, God's his own person and sets his own rules…

    Let's look in the Bible at the story of The Last Judgment (MT 25:31ff) There's going to be people asking "Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you or see you thirsty and give you to drink? When did we welcome you away from home or clothe you in you nakedness…"

    Here's the key, kids — the Christian already knows that your neighbor could be the stranger, so is it the Christian who's asking Jesus? No, I think it's those who didn't know Jesus as their savior but in their hearts and actions they were following the will of the Father…

    Now go back and read Mt 20: 1-16, the story of the laborers in the Vineyard… The last group who only does an hour's work gets the same pay as those who worked a full day in the scorching heat, yet Jesus says this is not unfair to anyone. God is free to do whatever he wants with his gifts…

    Now, maybe you can be creative here and think up a community volunteer activity which your family can do as a group… which isn't church based. After all, it's not just about going to church and reading the Bible. We too, as Christians are called to preach the Gospel by our actions.

    Everything in God's time. God makes the rules and can change them in individual cases when he wants to. He's the judge and ruler, not us. Our ways are not his ways…

    It's just like as kids, sometimes we think our parents are unfair, and maybe they are, but sometimes they really are looking after our interests. We need to pay more attention to how we are living our lives than how others are…

  • http://LiveItcrosswalk.com Cindy

    I understand and do try to apply all these different spriritual gifts and fruit to the lives of the non-believers in my family, job and so -on.. My problem is that my very on born-again husband has just turned from the beliefs he has held since a child. He attends a different church, watches and absolute phony preacher on TV that spouts pure selfish prosperity and uses God as a magic 8 ball! He wants a divorce because he is not happy and feels that he deserves to be happy with only one life to live. He is now into partying and a lifestyle I just cannot abide nor indulge. He is ready to throw our 24 year marriage away with 2 kids in college. I am at my wits end and I stay in constant prayer for him and our marriage.

  • nisperos

    Wow, that's really rough!

    Hopefully it's only a bit of the middle-age crazies. 2 kids in college and worries about retirement as well as worries about aging and it being your last chance. All that can certainly take a lot of money and, it's understandable that at this stage in life, money can become a bit of an obsession.

    For your sake, and that of your marriage, I deeply hope and pray with you that he hasn't found someone and that he isn't having an affair.

    I hope, rather that it might turn out like the Jimmy Buffett Pina Coladas song lyrics ( http://www.lyricsondemand.com/j/jimmybuffettlyric… ) and you can find each other once again and escape.

    It's unfortunate that in our churches there are sonme wolves in sheep's clothing. Deceiving someone under the guise of something being a Christian enterprise is a sin against the Holy Spirit. Galations chapter 5 clearly spells out which fruits are of the spirit and which of the flesh. Hubby does seem to be under the spell of something which is clearly not of God.

    If we go on to chapter 6 of Galatians, we read how we fulfill the law of Christ by bearing one another's burdens. We also read how each man should look to his conduct and bear his own responsibility and furthermore, no one makes a fool of God; every man will reap what he sows.

    Hubby does seem to be feeling a burden of money and of needing to plan for the future. Yes, I know Scripture tells us not to worry. Still, money has become a burden to him, so it might be better to help him carry that burden in some small way. Rather than doing something super risky which might be taking advantage of someone with some "get rich quick scheme", is it possible to make an investment such as (and I'm no financial type) purchasing a property to use as a rental which could help provide cash flow? Maybe this could even be a home in the college area where the kids are going to school and the roommates could help pay the mortgage?

    Also, is there any way you can do something to splurge with your husband a bit and break a jar of expensive perfume on his head, so to speak? (c.f. Mk 14: 3-9). Do him a kindness and be generous to him while you still have him…

    I'll join with you in prayer that this can be turned around.

  • sharon

    Love some one who is a non-christian?

    How about being married to one for 20 years. I was and now am divorced. What a mistake that was to marry him. but after he abandoned me, well 1 corthinians 7:15-16 saved my life.

  • http://LiveItcrosswalk.com Cindy

    Thank you for the prayers. They are needed and so appreciated. About the money thing. We are very comfortable (which is a true blessing) and even though with 2 in college we are able to pay for it with no loans and still live well. We have no mortgage any longer due to some smart financing we did when we were young. My husband just wants a more fun life that includes things that are truly not of God. I do suspect someone else but as of yet cannot prove it. Keep praying for him to abandon this awful rebellion. Rebellion is always, always sinful and not of God in any way. Thanks again.

  • nisperos

    Yeah, the whole of chapter 7 of Paul's 1st letter to the Corinthians is quite a meditation on marriage, huh?

    Thanks, Sharon, for sharing those 2 particular verses which you found comforting when your husband abandoned you.

    Still, as St Paul also teaches (1 Thes 5:16-18), we should rejoice always, constantly pray, and give thanks in all circumstances (not just those which are without challenges). And we know, through faith, that all things work to the good (Rom 8:28). We all have trials and distress and can be looked upon as easy marks, yet we are more than conquerors because of the love of God from which nothing shall separate us (vs 35-38).

    We all, however, remain full of human feelings, and I can't count the number of times I've held on to those verses in Romans 12 (taken out of Proverbs 25) about vengeance being the Lord's and when we perform works of mercy towards our enemies, it's like heaping burning coals upon their heads.

    Nevertheless, we are called to put away all bitterness, wrath, anger, evil speaking, and malice and instead be kind, compassionate, and forgiving (Eph 4:31-32).

    Dang! That's a tall order and can really be tough at times! I dunno, with the struggles I've been through, I think one of the biggies that I have to keep learning, in addition to stop judging others, is that I must be more compassionate and must enter more into the experience of pain which others go through. The intellectual part is always way easier that the emotional visceral part. Imitating Christ is really a hard thing which I have often been dragged into kicking and screaming…

    Peace out you all! This is getting a little heavy! I'm glad we have John around to interject a little humor and keep us sane…

    Or allow us to all go crazy together…

  • nisperos

    Hey Cindy, you are entirely welcome to the prayers and positive thoughts.

    Lucky you that you guys are so comfortable! Can you take him away from the current nonsense on some couple's nonsense, say a cruise or some other travel, or a road trip in some new wheels?

    I dunno, maybe sometimes craziness is best combated with a different form of craziness…

  • Ruth

    Hi Cindy- praying with you and for your family- I am in a very similar circumstance and standing for the restoration of our marriage and family. thanks John for your testimony- it is SO what I pray for my husband ; to have the Lord fall on him in a way like that- WOW. In His Grip, Peace IN! Ruth

  • Ray Searan

    John, thank you so much for writing this article. With this article you have challenged me very much. However, I must tell you, as it relates to me as an Assembly of God pastor, this article resonates within my heart as the Holy Spirit has been dealing with me about these things for a period of nearly three years. How I wish the entire Body of Christ could understand the truth contained in this article. This article inspired me to purchase your book entitled "I'm OK–You're Not: The Message We're Sending Nonbelievers and Why We Should Stop." I just got the book today and it was a huge chore for me to put the book down long enough to write this short note. I am excited about what this book has in store for my life. John, whatever you do keep encouraging the Body of Christ to walk in complete alignment with the Great Commandment.

    Until He comes keep the Son in Your eyes,

    Ray Searan

  • snowhite197

    I was raised A/G !!! I went to an A/G church in Texas for the first 19 years of my life :)

  • Lisa P

    This is the first blog post of John’s I ever read. It was on crosswalk.com. I see he is accumulating quite a few fans from there, count me as one, as well, John. You seem to be attracting a varied group of individuals with a strong desire to seek and live God’s will. He knows as we fellowship with one another it enables the Holy Spirit to move within us, to help others come to a better understanding of his desires for us as His people. This is the Great Commandment in perfect harmony with the Great Commision.

    What wonderful gifts your readers are sharing on these post, John. A true testament that God is moving through your writing. I agree, plug away, I’m sure many of us are ‘plugging’ for you as well.

    As ‘nisperos’ stated above, we are all ‘fully human’ and because of this Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, implored them to ‘throw off their old selves”. As we walk in Christs footsteps we start to share a ‘secret’ that non-christians can not understand, this sets in their hearts a misguided desire to rebel. Against God, against family, against their spouses and children, many times latching on to false teachings that make them ‘feel more comfortable’.

    I’d like to share an email I sent to my family and friends. It seems as though there are times that I hear or read about something and I see it again and again…this has been the case with Paul’s letters to the Ephesians, especially chapter 4-5. When you get an email about it, then a friend mentions it, when you pick up your bible to start your morning reading and it happens to fall open to those pages and then while changing channels on your radio a voice suddenly announces, “Turn your bibles to…” (and now nisperos post above) you just have to realize God has his hand in it, it’s His will that you pay closer attention.

    Here is the text of Ephesians 5:15-21 for those who may not have a bible handy….

    “Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lords will is. Do not get drunk on wine for it leads to excess. Instead be filled with the spirit. Speak to one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything. In the name of Lord Jesus Christ”

    These are the last few verses of the apostle Paul’s instructions to the Ephesians in their spiritual walk which begins in Eph.4:17. He is explaining that now that they have come to know Jesus as the Messiah, they are no longer children of this world, they are now children of God and of the light and he implores them to put off their former selves and to be made new in the attitudes of their minds.

    To speak truthfully to one another (that means no white lies either). This does not mean to be hurtful by telling people whatever you think, but rather seek the truth of Gods word. For example: “Do I look fat/bad/sloppy in this?” answer: “I really like the blue dress/slacks/shirt better.” You do not insult but rather helpfully guide them to what is better.

    To let go and turn away from anger because this gives the Devil a foothold in our lives. So get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, slander and malice. Instead be kind and compassionate, forgiving eachother…not only your friends and buddies but those who would see you fail, those who are mean and callus towards you, so that you will exhibit the fruits of the Lords mercy through your behavior. Example: next time someone cuts you off in traffic and flips you the bird, smile, forgive instantly and flash a peace sign back at them. You say, but what if they get mad, they may retaliate? God says do not fear those who can only hurt your body, instead fear Him who has control over your eternal life.

    “Making the most of every opportunity” does not mean to seek out your own pleasures(wine). More toys, more gadgets, more houses, more cars, more clothes, more games, more sex, more entertainment(excess)…rather Jesus tells us we are all His disciples and we must make the most of every opportunity to share the gospel to those who are not aware of it.

    We must be thankful to God in everything, for all he has given us, our very lives, these bodies that carry us through the day, our friends and families who fill our hearts with love and joy, our pets, our jobs, our transportation, our stores, our police, fire, emergency and medical personel, our daily bread, our clothes, our homes, our heaters/air conditioners, the bed we lie our weary bodies upon each night.

    He also implores us to be thankful for what we do not have as well. Think of those who live in war zones, who fear for their lives and those of their children every waking minute and during those long dark hours of night waiting for the sun to rise. Think of those who are sick, in pain, cripple, depressed, enslaved, in physical and/or spiritual anguish. We cringe when thinking about burning ourselves on a toaster or a hot pan, imagine the person who has suffered burns over a large area of his body. Think of those who have no fresh water to drink, no food to eat, those persecuted, tortured, raped, killed by the very people who should be protecting them…this happens in countless countries across the globe.

    Problems are relative, the discomforts of bills, jobs, standing in lines, high gas prices, not having newer vehicles, living in smaller than desired homes, not being able to buy jewelry or motorcycles or the latest PlayStation become so minor when compared to the suffering that occurs everyday in countries not as prosperous as ours, and even within our own borders due to greed and lack of compassion…

    Finally Paul tells them to sing and praise God the Father in songs and hymns. Music is extremely powerful, it has the power to change our minds, our attitudes, our way of thinking. Each of you can think of a favorite song and you are instantly transported back to the first time you heard that song. You turn up the volume on songs that you like, quickly change the station when a song you do not comes on.

    Music moves us to sway, tap, clap, laugh, cry, dance…it touches our very souls. God created it for us. He instructs His angels to bring us messages through song and desires us to worship Him with it….so be very careful what you listen to. Make sure what the words are saying, does it speak of love or hate, does it speak of giving or taking, does it speak of compassion or selfishness? Because Gods word tells us the devil will use song against us, we must use music wisely to praise and glorify God.

    To follow Christ does not guarantee an easy, kickback life with no problems or heartache, rather the Lord promises that he will give us strength to stand against the world and it’s unfairness. He will send His very Spirit to guide us and lead us back home to Him. We need only to implore Him to do His will in our lives. The riches and treasures the Gospel refers to are unimaginable in our simple human minds.

    May each of us seek His desire for our lives, first. Love one another as Christ loved us, giving His very life for us that we should not perish but live in glory with our Father for all eternity.

    I want to ‘plug’ a little here and acknowledge a woman who has taught every one of these truths to her children all through their lives. Through suffering and need (being laid off after 19years and 7months at the company she worked, so that they would not need to honor her full retirement), through injustice and persecution (escaping from Communist Russia), through pain and disease (breast cancer), through loneliness and desertion by the very people who should have protected and loved and honored her (abused and abandoned by her husband of 26 years), she never once turned away from God, rather she clung tighter and praised louder and continues to share His love with all those around her, my mother Elizabeth (Lisa) *****.

    I told my mom about your blog John, so if she’s reading – Thank you, Mom, you are a testament to the power of faith and a true disciple of our Lord Jesus Christ. p.s. I love your singing!

    God be with you all…Lisa

  • nisperos

    Lisa,

    Thanks for your post… and the very loving tribute to your mom…

    Many immigrants have helped to make this country great by the inspiring example of the way they've lived their lives.

    As an aside — I'm into affordable housing and people getting their first home. I'm also partial to mid-century ranches and small homes of the 1950's and 1960's. Given this interest, I've picked up a few period copies of Better Homes and Gardens off of EBay. Maybe you & your mom would enjoy this excerpt from one of the mags:

    In a September 1957 BH & G, a special feature was an article, "Why Russians fear 'People's Capitalism' " by Dr Vladimir Nikan who was about to become an American citizen after having lived in the U.S. with his wife and son since 1951. At the time, he was a faculty member at a College in Jersey City and affiliated with the Mid-European Studies Center in NYC

    "Badly confused [young people]. They feel shame for that hallmark of their country — our country — which deserves to be a source of deep, enduring pride: its economic system. Spiritually oriented, and politically in the people's hands, today's American economic system has made life better in every way for the individual human being than any economic system in the history of the world… Here in America I can… earn a living beyond Europe's potential. And drive a medium-priced car. And plan to build a home of my own. And help shape a free and confident future for my son and all men's sons. This is because our free economy is geared to the future. It has room to grow. It wants to make more things better and cheaper for more people to use and enjoy. Not so with planned economics. They cannot plan according to anything but the past. What other blueprint is there? And the past, being dead cannot possibly grow… I find in the American Way, the stamina this effort to convince the world is going to take: your genius, even after nearly two centuries, for keeping political power decentralized. The rule of law under which you live so well… Politically, this has been no small feat. Economically, it has made possible the free, flexible atmosphere of a competitive market with challenge to the inventor and the businessman… It reveals the humanitarianism of the American Revolution, energizing to this day…"

    BTW everyone, here's a positive shout out to the Baptist General Convention of Texas and Southern Baptists Convention (and no, I'm not a Baptist) for their resolutions embracing immigrants — legal and illegal.

    From the June 25th Houston Chronicle:
    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/

    "… 'You cannot deny the message of migration in the biblical story, in the Old Testament and the New Testament. God calling people into unknown lands is very central to the biblical story,' said Suzii Paynter, director of the Christian Life Commission for the Baptist General Convention of Texas.

    The Hispanic Baptist Convention, an arm of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, plans to unveil at its convention in Austin today a national program to aid immigrants with obtaining citizenship, legal residency and other immigration problems…

    Deuteronomy teaches God 'defends the cause of the widow and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing.' Leviticus preaches that 'when an alien lives with you in your land, do not mistreat him. The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt.' …"

    (The link is there so people can read the whole article in context… And see the comments by readers. Certainly there's a need for the Great Commandment as far as immigration issues are concerned.)

  • Determined Disciple

    John,

    Wow. Simple, and yet so profound. I love it.

    Humility (what?! I'm not better than they are? But I know the TRUTH!!); Love (I will treat you with love just as soon as you deserve it AND treat ME with love); and Patience (oh, c'mon, I have WAITED for three whole years!)… perfect prescription for my not-at-all-godly attitude toward pretty much anyone not a Christian, but most especially, my dear husband.

    Thank you. My life is quite busy and complex (whose isn't?), so profound simplicity is a perfect elixir when I'm running hot with my own superiority. May God bless you.

  • Crocker

    Your article on reaching anonbeliever makes me think of my aunt Katherine and my unlcle Jon. He was unsaved and wanted nothin to do with church or anything church related. Pastor could not even visit the house. My aunt;s faith was extrodinary. She had such love for him. He would place demands on her that he needed met before church. when the demands increased she would get up earlier to take care of everything and still make it to church. Every night she waited until he was asleep and then prayed for him. She loved him as he was, but never overlooked who god could make him into. She never quit praying or believing that God could and would reach my uncle. I remeber from the time I was little praying for big john to be saved, inviting him to church events and being rejected. I remeber getting frustrated and thinking that he would never change. My aunt never did she just remained faithful day after day week after week month after month and year after year. It taught me lessons in faith and steadfastness. When I was in college my unle was finally saved. Praise the Lord. I thought I had prayed forever and it had only been 2o some years that I could remeber. I later found out that my aunt had been faitfulyy praying for him for over 50 years! I want that kind of faith for me and for the unsaved in my life.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    This is such an amazing, inspiring story. I’ve heard a lot of stories like this over the years, but this one is the capper. 50 years! Amazing. Thanks so much for sharing this soul-heartening account.

  • http://www.Idonthaveawebsiteeventoughwordpressasksforone.com Zach

    This may sound a little crass if you read this right after those last few posts. But as the first unsaved to say anything this entire article I guess it's expected that I sound a little ignorant.

    I'd advice everyone to go back and read some of the earlier posts to get themselves in the proper mood. One common theme I noticed through most of the reader responses is the idea of "I am right and you are wrong." which seems a little ironic because it sounds a lot like the title of John's book "I'm OK and you are not"

    Whenever you hear a story about a Christian's struggle with unsaved friends and family it begins with the assumption that the Christian is in the right and everyone else is holding false beliefs that will probably get them sent to hell. But this is totally understandable, and makes perfect sense in the context of Christianity. In the Bible Jesus clearly says that the unsaved are hosed.

    But on a personal level it seems a little strange for one person to be completely certain that their beliefs are absolutely true and that anyone else who thinks otherwise is just completely wrong. Let's say for example we had two friends who were fairly close. One of them drinks Coke and the other Pepsi. Now out here in the real world we would say that whether or not Coke or Pepsi was better is just a matter of opinion. And it would be arrogant of us to label either of them as being "The One True Cola"

    But what if the Coke drinker got it into their head that Coke really was the end all be all of soda. And on top of that the Coke drinker was not going to rest until their Pepsi drinking friend, and all Pepsi drinkers everywhere, renounced their Pepsi drinking ways and turned to Coke.

    Getting back to Religion, we might want to ask ourselves how the people on the other side of these stories might feel. Would they look down on your beliefs the same way you look down on theirs? Would they be just as convinced of their correctness as you are? I thought comment 14 was interesting "He attends a different church, watches and absolute phony preacher on TV"

    Obviously Cindy views him as not following the true teachings of Jesus and quite possible being one of the unsaved. However someone who believes that being born again is synonymous with accepting Christ would view a not born again person as being unsaved. Both of them think that they are right and the other is not. Could it be possible that we are not always right? Could someone else's thoughts hold value?

    And so when you are dealing with someone who does not love Jesus as you do, could you listen to them, and respect what they have to say? Could you see them as something other than wrong? Could you have a relationship with an unsaved person without the eventual goal being to convert them?

  • debz

    Hi Zach, first off I'm Christian and i like what John wrote (as u said, it makes sense if u look at it in the whole Christian context). I can kinda understand what ur saying and ur frustrations with how Christianity comes across sometimes. So my testimony is for u and other Christians.

    My current boyfriend was not Christian when i met him (5 yrs ago). Our friendship was fine until he wanted to get serious. As a Christian, i dont only have beliefs, it's a whole lifestyle so i was honest with him from the beginning and told him i didnt want to lead him on but i could not get into a serious relationship with him because of that. I am convicted of certain Christian principles and teachings and enjoy talking about God and comfortably being open about my Christianity. If I have a problem, I go to Jesus. In a relationship, if "we" have a problem, i want to be able to go to Jesus too. Christians, remember the part in the Bible about being unequally yoked with unbelievers? Well that was stuck in my head and i could see how my Christian principles and lifestyle just could not mesh with his lifestyle. So i told him he was free to go but we still maintained our friendship (he was stubborn and didnt want to be "free" anyway).

    The whole situation took a lot of praying on my part… just trying to figure out what to do and what not to do. I did not want to "convert" or talk him into believing as i do. Quite frankly, the Bible says it's the Holy Spirit's job to convict ppl and change ppl. It's not mine. However my life should be a witness. I was so deadset against trying to "convert" him that i was very timid in actually saying anything about what i believed! I continuously tried to push him away because i knew i was not going to eventually marry someone who did not share my faith. As Christians, it's important to KNOW what we believe and why. Not just so we can tell ppl, but more for ourselves so our Christian life is genuine.

    Once we have that genuineness, God can then START to work with us. The examples in the Bible aren't as clear as 'saved/unsaved, the unsaved get "hosed"'. Jesus paints a picture of God continuously working with ppl… Christian or not, God looks at the heart. Think of the roman centurion who came to Jesus (somebody can remind me of the exact reference) who Jesus commended for his faith when he asked Jesus to heal one of his men. He wasn't a Jew or a follower of Jesus at the time but God still saw his heart and that he was genuine and didnt lump him with the "unsaved who get hosed". God knows where each and every person stands and who is genuine and who is knowingly against God.

    I initially saw my bf as "unsaved" and i had the i'm right attitude in my head… but i had to learn that part about God looking at the heart and learn that God can teach ppl things in different phases. i understood the basic principles of Christianity and practiced them but i came to realize that i had more to learn and by listening… really listening to what he thought, there were things i still needed to learn that he already understood. we both stood to benefit by listening to what the other person had to say. i learnt that i needed to respect him and really listen without judging. i needed to learn how to face isuues instead of running away. running is good sometimes, but sometimes u gotta stand and fight. i learnt that i needed to be more like Jesus in how i treated people… Jesus talked and listened to ppl who didnt live holy lives and he valued them as ppl. i learnt that i needed some humility so that i could accept him correcting me when i thought i knew it all. i still hold to all my previous christian beliefs… i just have more now. he's a christian now, but i can gladly say, i never had to talk him into anything. his friends and family started to notice little changes in him for the better and later i did also (some things he never even told me he had changed, i just found out later). his becoming a christian wasn't a sudden thing… i can't pin-point exactly when i can say he decided to be a christian. it was kinda like the wind… it came and after a while i realized it was there but didnt know when or how it happened. i only took the step into being his girlfriend after i realized that we shared the same love for God and genuine christianity. i guess that might sound harsh but christianity isnt just a case of what cola is better. it changes a person's entire life, not just what they drink (or eat or think). It's so important that people have died for it, and perhaps even more difficult, people live for it daily.

  • Anonymous

    I stumbled upon your blog because I was looking for advice on how to stop a Christian from trying to convert me. My brother became a Christian after 9/11 and our relationship has not been the same since. I am a Buddhist and he has absolutely NO respect for my beliefs. We live at opposite ends of the country and rarely speak over the phone, but when we do he always tries to convert me. We finally mutually agreed that we were not going to discuss religion anymore. I thought that that would be the end of it. Now he has taken on a passive aggressive approach. He will send me little pamphlets in the mail about how he was saved. He recently sent me an email with a long attachment from Kirk Cameron's Christian website. I responded very politely that I was disappointed that he would send me this after our agreement. I wrote that I would be more than happy to receive any other kind of email from him. I have yet to hear back. My brother and I used to be so close and this has put a huge wedge in our relationship. I do not wish to offend anyone in this forum, I merely wanted to tell my story to show how Christian witnessing effects people of other faiths and their relationships. I just hope that all faiths can learn to get along without trying to convert each other. It is my sincere belief that we must all put aside our differences and learn to come together as members of the human race. There is no place in the world for so much religious intolerance. This is certain.

    God Bless.

  • http://journeyto.wordpress.com/ Carina

    Thanks for writing this.

    One of my dearest friends is not a believer and, over the years, that’s been very hard for me. But I realized, just as you said, that it’s not my responsibility to save him. Heck, I CAN’T. God is the only one with the power and love enough to do that. And, I knew that in the back of my mind, but I wasn’t treating my friend like that all the time. I wasn’t loving him like Christ. It took many times of my pride and impatience rearing their ugly heads before God sat me down and said, “Give this up; give it to Me.” I wish I’d known sooner, but God’s is abounding in love and grace. He’s in control… and when I fail again, well, I can praise Him because HE is unfailing. And I continue to hope that my friend will see all the marvelous things God has done and, someday, give thanks to the Father.

    In the meantime: humility, love, and patience. Amen. And God bless you.

  • Leigh

    My husband's family are non-believers and it has been extremely difficult to have a relationship with them. They plan family outings on Sunday mornings when they know we are in church service. There has been hurtful words by them about our involvement with our youth group and I sometimes think it is satan pulling at us!! They truly mistreat my husband at times and do not respect him at all. It is so hurtful to him and I hurt when he hurts. I get so frustrated and angry resulting in when I am around them, I am quiet and withdrawn. My joy in the Lord doesn't show when I am in their presence. How do I get past this? How can my joy be present when I am around them? I want so much for them to see God through me. I do the right physical things such as buy gifts, cook holiday meals for the family (to which at Easter, my husband, myself and my three kids were sent to the card table to eat and they sat at my dining room table excluding us from any conversation! Hope they enjoyed the Easter dinner I prepared for them!!) So, on the outside, I do all the right things but on the inside I am angry and don't want to be around them. I am a Christian but am I a door mat? Should we continue to me mistreated?

  • arlywn

    leigh… I hate to say, but I think you and your family would be much happier with out contact with your husband's family.

    I agree with a difference of opinion toward religion- but its not okay to just absolutely disrespect some one's beliefs. It's not productive.

    it does seem like you're being a doormat, even though I think you're just being kind and generous. I think you should just spend… less time with them. Maybe they would get the message. ( although, I would sit down and have a talk with them about how this behavior affects the well being of your family.)

    and now I'll go back to lurking.

  • Roxie

    Dear John,

    Wow that could’nt have hit home any harder! I knew the minute I saw the heading that God had the answer to my prayers. For me it is my mother, ( along with others in my family) she lives with my husband and I. It has been a battle ever since I got saved. Although she does believe there is a God she has no real trust in him or faith that he cares for her. Chalk it up to ignorance as well as a very hard life! Anyway, over the years she has become more tolerant of my sharing with her even the times when I have been less than patient and, gracious about my sharing. I see that God is working on her and that I defenitely need to exercise more humility, patience, and, love. Some days it is a real struggle for my husband and I but just as I know God has been so gracious with his love and patience with us we to must be with those in our lives. Thank you so much for your words of encouragement and wisdom! I pray that the blessings of God shower you and your family today and always! Sincerly Roxie

  • arlywn

    um… no offense, but can we use a different word then transform? personally to me 'transform' indicates that there is something wrong with the person. So does 'save'.

    how about……. "of course I will pray that Jesus HELPS them, like he did to me right when I least expected it HOW AWESOME!! it is."

    thats a better word right? I think so. Sorry. I got the point, just being the usual- lets be nicer to others- person.

  • Christine Bruce

    Thank you so much John for the comments about how to handle loved ones that do not love Jesus, I have 2 older sons that have decided to live apart from the Lord and this article

    When you Love Someone who Doesn’t Love Christ

    has really helped me to step back and not like you said “Preach” to them but to just love them and of course I will pray that Jesus transforms them, like he did to me right when I least expected it HOW AWESOME!! it is. God is so Good!

    Thanks again God Bless you.

  • David

    I feel out of the loop here with this subject. I am glad someone addressded this directly like John has. It helped me a bit in the lesson I needed to learn in becoming close to a non-believer. I think they have God in there heart but from years of abuse and betrayal that beautiful heart from God got jaded. They have bounced in and out of my life openning up to me now and then then disappearing. One time, this past Oct. they even called me ignorant for being a believer. This is when they formed an alliance with another non-believer on a website for pleasure. Talk about filling a void and talk about the demons coming out to play. That has passed and the few texts we exchanged have been somewhat positive..they are still distant..I pray for them all the time for Jesus to help them, I like that better myself, tye have the heart of God but the flesh world has torn at its's strings. I feel in spirit they are making a come back and God is at His work now blessing them. recently, in a chat they told me of their 3 siblings having cancer and how the fear of God made her get herslef checked out! She was cleared..She said, " I do not know why I was so fortunate but I am grateful". A believer would see that as God's grace and Mercy on her. For her sibilings are lost souls as well. This person has the spirit of God and the heart to match out of all of them. Why she was betrayed by them. She wants a relationship with them but knows she can not because they will use her as they have. The family went thru bad times and forster homes..so you can see the history here.

    This person just needs to know and let Jesus come into their life as He is. This is a prideful person..Even Jesus knows he needs to take this in consideration..As a friend all I do is pray and listen when they reach out. It is hard for my heart is on the line and I have been told in meditation and prayer that I am to love them as Christ would and to be there as Christ would when they are ready to come forward in reconcilation. To see all the wonderful things God can do when you see His light and not the dark. They are on the verge to come forward and God is doing His Dance with them. I will pray to help as all we can do for one another. It is all about love as God is love. .It has been difficult. I love this person very much and know they are a good soul. We are parted now and they live 300 miles away. So prayer is all I can do now. And I know prayer knows no boundary between two spirits, just makes it more difficult to deal. I love this person very much and in their way they do me. So, it is up to Jesus to bring our paths together again. In Jesus' name I pray. John thanks for your thoughts. God bless

  • Kate

    John,

    Thank you for your article and for giving people a place to open up about their feelings. Your article was just what I was needing since my husband is maybe saved or maybe not. I'm not sure. He made a profession of his faith in Christ many years ago but his type A personality has taken control of him and now his pride won't let him humble himself to even say he does more than just believe that God exists. But I praise God that he allows me to have my time to spend reading and studying the Word.

    I actually came here to ask you how to pray for him, but I think Debz answered my question. I think her story illustrates exactly how your article works. So thanks to both of you!

    And to Arlywn, if you don't like the word 'transform' try the word change. It's not exactly the same meaning but that's what happens to us when we come to the realization that we need what Christ died and rose again to give us. If we surrender all that we are so we can become all that He is, that's transformation. Does that sound so bad? I guess I don't see what is so bad about the word save(d). Christ is our Saviour( root word here is save). He didn't just come to save us from our sins, He came to save us from everything that comes into our lives that is against who He is. I don't know about you but that sounds like a pretty good deal to me. Sorry if that sounded like preaching. I apologize. Actually it was just meant to sort of clarify what those things mean.

  • Mary

    This is the most encouraging article I've found on this topic. I really appreciate it because I love and am completely committed to a non-believer. It is the strangest thing to love someone who has absolutely Christian background whatsoever. I pray a TON about this… I've seen God do astounding things with those who are hostile toward Him… I believe absolutely in the power of the Holy Spirit to touch and soften even the hardest and most hostile hearts. It's all in His hands… and it's good to have these encouraging words to mediate on. Thanks.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    That's great, Mary: Thank you. (And I AM one of those people whose anti-Christ attitude was changed by God. So … anything can happen, for sure.)

  • Mary

    You're welcome, John. Your story is one of those Way Cool ones I hear ever now and then and that just makes my soul thrill. Jesus really is something, isn't he?

    For some reason, Rev 3:15 & 16 just slammed to the front of my mind in regard to those who are hostile toward Christ and Christianity:

    "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold- I am about to spit you out of my mouth."

    I understand the context of this passage, but I've always found the scripture as alive as can be, fitting many different situations. In that light, I wonder whether it isn't easier for Christ to touch the heart of one passionately against Him as opposed to one who's just 'sitting on a fence'… ?

    Sounds like you were one of those that passionately against. At times, the man I love can be overwhelming in his disgust of what he sees as hypocrisy in Christians. Sometimes he's right, sometimes he just doesn't understand… but through it all, he's definitely HOT about what he thinks! He's something, alright… This man of mine- Mr. Intense. It's going to be interesting to see how the Spirit works with him.

  • concernedgirl

    I stayed up all night researching on this topic because I'm afraid although my intentions were good regarding ministering to my boyfriend I'm afraid my fear of losing him to death in his sins has caused me to show him the harsh things opposed to the God of Love that I know. Struggling with being unequally yoked has been a battle of mine for over a year now, yet I'm afraid that if I break up with him and give up hope…He'll stray even further away…His heart is so cold I guess I lost faith in the strength of the Lord his ability to tackle even the hardest of hearts. He just doesn’t understand why God would create us if he knew some of us would be going to hell. He thinks that God is cruel and just toying with us. I don’t know what to do but pray I don’t want to be unequally yoked but he’s so depressed I fear it will have harsh effects.

  • Jeff

    I am a Christian man married to a non-believer. We get along Ok most of the time. My one issue is that she likes to watch the type of movies that, as a Christian, you should not be watching. Demonic movies and soft core porn type movies. I can not abide watching or even listening to them in my house. She sees nothing wrong with them and refuses to stop watching them. I don't believe these type of movies have any place in a Christian's home. Even if I don't watch them it still bothers me that she is watching them in the other room. She thinks I am wierd and says, "everybody watches these movies, they are just entertainment" this is going to cause us to break up. Help!

    • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

      Jeff: Why do you care what she watches as long as you're not seeing it?

  • Jeff

    I have always been taught that as a believer, you should not allow that kind of thing into your house. And I was taught that it is the husband's responsibility to God as to what is allowed to be prevalent in his house. This is whether you are watching it personally or not.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Jeff: You say, "I have always been taught…" So you have always been a Christian?

  • Jeff

    I was saved at 25 years old. Have been a Christian 25 years. Mostly in Southern Baptist church where I learned most of what I believe. Am I being too harsh on this?

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    How long have you been married?

  • Jeff

    Three years. And yes I do know it was my fault to begin with for marrying a non-believer. I was married for 20 years previously to a Christian woman (that is another story for another time..haha) As I have found out there are a lot of problems in a "believer – nonbeliever" marriage. Some of the comments of the folks on this blog have helped me. We have worked a lot of the problems out, except for the movie thing. I used to do a lot of preaching at her and wanting her to go to church. I have learned that is not the way to go.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Well, it sounds to me like you've got the right idea: take it slowly; don't preach; don't condemn. All such stuff (as you know) will only drive you further apart (and her further from Xtianity). To be honest, with this post here, you've already read the best of what I have to say on this matter. Be humble, be patient, be loving.

    And you're right, of course: You are lying in the bed you made.

    It's not just the movie thing; after that, it would be another "thing." You've got to decide if you're all right with her being a Xtian or not. REALLY, and finally, decide. Don't do the Life Waffle nonsense. You're either in or out. You're either okay with her being a non-Christian, or you're not. If you're not okay with it, you and she have a lot of pain coming. If you are okay with her continuing to be the woman you married, then back off of her, and let her be that woman.

  • shawnierae

    Well….that wasn't exactly what I was expecting! :) I really want to believe he's not just a dick, but unfortunately you might be right. I didn't think you were being rude…just honest and I appreciate that.

    I am still curious as to what the reasons are. I keep seeing references to "unequally yoked". Why is this such an issue?

  • shawnierae

    I came across this post last night after the relationship i was in ended, ultimately because he is a believer and I’m not. I was trying to find information to “build my case” and show him that we could be together. I love this man with all of my heart, and believe me, there is no one on this earth who wishes they could find God, right now, more than me. I’m not posting to get advice on how to find God or anything like that…I’m really just hoping for some answers that will help me understand. He won’t really talk to me about it so I don’t know what it is that’s concerning him. Obviously the fact that I don’t believe…and I can’t even REALLY say that…I don’t think there’s a God, but I don’t know for sure…sometimes I wonder.

    OK..back on track…I am accepting of his beliefs and wouldn’t ever try change them. I could list all my great qualities and traits but for the sake of simplicity, just assume I am a good person and I do my best to live a good life. Other than my not believing, there is no other reason for him not wanting to be with me. If we are happy together, why does it matter so much what I believe or don’t believe? Thanks for your time and help.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Shawn: I’m sorry; I don’t mean to be rude or anything. But I keep getting stuck on “He won’t really talk to me about it …”. If he won’t even TALK to you about something so absolutely fundamental to your relationship—something profoundly germane to it, which you’re clearly open to lovingly discussing—then … then I just can’t understand what possible hope there could be for that relationship anyway. Either he doesn’t really like you and he’s just using not talking to you about THE issue in your relationships as a means of keeping you at a distance, or he’s just a dick. Either way … how can this work for you?

  • KristieA

    Hi,

    Like others I am with a non-believer boyfriend of over one year. I know I love him, but I'm afraid the religious aspect will be a problem if I were to marry him. He tells me it's discrimination to not be with someone of a different religion/if any. He says as long as someone's morals are good then I shouldn't judge someone. Anyone have advice for this?!! I don't want to end it because I am crazy about him, but I'm scared it will cause a problem in the future. Thanks

  • Deandra

    How great to find this article at this time! I broke off my relationship last week because my partner is not a Christian and as such I found myself engaging in sexual activities much to my guilt and frustration. He also could not understand or appreciate why I did not want to get involved in certain other activities. He complained that I had too many rules. I care for him very much and would like for us to be together but I could not sacrifice my relationship with God. I would also like him to find that love, peace and happiness that only God can give but I have tried all that you mentioned in your article to no avail. I have invited him to church, he said yes but found some excuse on the day. He still prays and acknowledges God but something or someone has turned his mind from church. What can I do?

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Well, it sounds like you've already done what it seems to me you should, which is drop him.

  • Stacie

    I found this article very helpful as I have friends whom I care for deeply who I believe are good people but are not Christians. I was struggling with what I should be doing, I am not good at ministering to others and really liked your viewpoint on being humble as this has been a struggle for me and has been very emotional because I felt as though I was failing God by allowing myself to continue the friendship while not ministering to these friends, but they do know that I am a Christian and we have an understanding that I am not ashamed of my faith, but i have never believed in being pushy because that tends to push people away from religion rather then draw then to it. Thank you for your article.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X